The 4 disciplines check I have been using for the last few years originated from Karen Martin. She is the author of The Outstanding Organisation and is one of the US’s leading business improvement experts. Karen and I share the same viewpoints. She has recently released a new book that focuses on one of the 4 disciplines, Clarity. I have yet to finish the book so I’ll share more another time but I must say Clarity is one of those things that can be hard to pin down, yet when it is poor, it is noticable in the business.
Karen also has an on-line Clarity quiz comprising of 45 questions that cover her 5 Ps:
- Process: everybody knows how the business operates;
- Purpose: everybody knows why the business exists and how it adds value;
- Priorities: everyone knows what’s important and focuses on that;
- Problem solving: everyone uses a consistent method that stops the same problem recurring;
- Personal: has an awareness of how clearly you communicate and become more self-aware.
The quiz rates your answers between high and low for each off the 5 P’s, plus an overall rating. There are improvement tips to help you get better too.
I won’t labour through the 45 questions but here are a few questions to ask yourself…
- Do you issue meeting agendas with objectives before the meeting?
- When there is a substantial change in the business are the reasons always communicated to the workforce?
- Do you have visual boards across the business to monitor performance?
- Do bosses in the business do what they say?
- Do the bosses go to the Gemba? That is regularly observe all the operational parts of the business.
- Do meetings have agreed actions and decisions recorded?
If you answered mostly Yes, then well done! Too many No’s suggest there is room for improvement. Try out Karen’s Quiz then take my 4 Disciplines Check to find out where and how to make the necessary changes in your business.